tv [untitled] May 14, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
rest of the city and recognizing our service is much different in the main city employees. supervisor farrell: is that with this contract itself? the contract is a significant driver as well. >> for example, the sciu covers collection receivers and when the global contract city-wide includes furloughs, the affect -- it affects our city-wide employes. we cannot have fire control officers on furloughs because we need to provide that service level but we have to backfill. we are trying to figure these issues out where we are different from the city and figure out a way where we can break out from major discussions on these contracts. >> a lot of the issues we're talking about here are true of
the city-wide contracts. the issue we're talking about with electrician's is prevalent in many of our contracts. there are many other provisions that drive overtime use in different ways, some positive and some negative. to the question of how we end up in this situation, it's a better question for a labor negotiator than for me. generally speaking, in a collective bargaining process like we have in severance is good, -- like we have in san francisco, the best way is with your offering wage increases and money on the other side. when the city is asking for money back for our employees, work rules are often what we suffer from as a trade-off. that is a very long process and many of the provisions we are talking about here stretch back many, many years. often and, some of these were
secured at moments in time when employees are taking significant pay cuts. maybe as part of the conversation for the work plan in the coming year, we can talk about whether deeper view of some of these contract revisions -- we have even been talking internally about how this is a possible projects for the coming year. >> i don't know if you are the appropriate person, but in terms of all of the contracts we're talking about that affect muni, how many are city-wide that muni is an ancillary participant and impact in ways we are not anticipating on a citywide levels as opposed to ones are specific to muni. >> we have 50 different labor contracts as a city. the proposition carved out and creative comparable units which
are comparable to what the city maintains for the same class. there's an electrician in any other department by the mta is handled by city-wide electricians contract and now the mta negotiate a specific electrician's contract. the same is true of our 50 labor contracts in the city. we have something approaching 100 contracts with the mta approaching 100 and the city voting 50. mostly comparable, but still some divergence. supervisor farrell: forgive me, but being newer to the board here, these contracts are the ones where -- are they governed by the other city contracts and therefore there is no flexibility to say we can work hours we know we do, this is inappropriate for our contract, or are you down to these negotiations? >> the controller mentioned the
proposition where we can now create our own work rules. we are now implementing the mta work rules. local 6 which we just implemented now makes the work hours different from the city electricians. we now have a seven-day work week and will no longer be getting overtime on a electricians' we typically have been. as we are rolling over, we are renegotiating them. >> what year were those propositions past? >> ea was in 1997 and e was in 1999. the bottom line is the way we manage overtime. very similar -- i heard the presentation last time, a lot of the big departments that have a lot of overtime, we sort of managed at salary and benefit bottom line because of some of the vacancies and we cannot
hire. we traditionally have been able to absorb over time through savings and salary and that will be the case this year as well. to the extent we are able to hire up, we will have to revisit the way we budget. but as of today, we actually look at salary to manage the bottom line because of the flexibility over time does offer us. we have all these other issues. this is the last slide and then i will ask john haley and mr. mason to come up. we are looking to fill vacancies in the parameters of our budget and we're having a significant difficulty in attracting, recruiting, training and identifying individuals. mr. haley can speak to the number -- like operators that
enter into recruitment and driving a new large difference between the number of operators to end up driving between the ones who actually initiate interest in the position. the board is receiving monthly overtime reports and their drilling down on these overtime areas. we are also working to schedule -- working to manage unscheduled absences. that increases over time needs. we have significant issues with unscheduled absences for a variety of reasons. we are trying to drill down and look at those areas. as i mentioned, we are looking at our scheduled practice and contractual requirements. for example, we are able to implement part time operators that we would see some reduction in over time because there is over time where we could staff the peak time schedule as well as local 6.
when the contract comes up next, we would be looking to break away from the city in terms of our needs there. a lot of the overtime is driven not by contractual requirements and scheduled practices of the transit system. the other question we are trying to get our arms around is what is the sweet spot for overtime? what does -- where does overtime costs outweigh the benefits? in the service model of muni, there's always going to be over time, but what is an acceptable level where you have to hire two people instead of one with overtime? we start recognizing the significant additional cost because of the additional play. hopefully the next several months we will have a better idea of where that sweet spot is because we are always going to have a level of over time, we just don't know where the level appropriate for this service model we are providing.
we're happy to come back to you after we do that analysis and we can talk more about, but at this point, if you want your from director john haley. supervisor campos: yes. >> good morning. i am at your disposal in terms of questions. i am john haley, director of operations. >> i am reginald mason and i'm the director of safety -- safety in treading enforcements. supervisor campos: the want to take questions or do you want to add to what has been said? >> if it pleases the board, we're happy to take questions.
supervisor campos: why don't we turn it over to president chiu? president chiu: overtime has affected different apartments for many years. elected officials may come and go but this is something your department has not been able to get a handle on for a long time: so if we could try to drill down a little on that. do you know with other jurisdictions: are the best practices and what are good agencies doing to manage overtime? how did the percentages compared to what we've got here? >> in our system, and this amplifies to some of what was said earlier, over time is not a four-letter word, if you will, in transit because especially the service plans driven by the amount of service and operators and applied the work rules and
we have the ability to have someone working 12 hour day. the nature of our business is reischauer, so if we stretch that to have one person work, inherent in that is over time. in terms of the best practices, most of the transit system's i'm aware of, especially on the bus side deploy part-time operators to be somewhere between 10 to a quarter of their workforce because of the peaks in schedules. as a benchmark for ballpark as past practice, that is a way to build efficient schedules, the use of part-timers. we do not have that available to us right now. that causes some of additional scheduled overtime. the other variables that take into effect to build on what was
said is the things like the quality of the service, if you will. when you have a lot of delays, that causes additional overtime. one of the other things is as well as the age of the fleet, in terms of the fundamental practice of providing service on a transit system, best practice is most people looked to balance some percentage of old- timers and part-timers on both bus and rail molds somewhere between 10% to 25% to balance the peak times. muni is a little bit less peak- intensive than other systems, but in general, that is the principal best practice in that
regard. president chiu: you are saying we're not doing what our best practice is another's jurisdictions to handle this? >> i think that is something we need to get to in terms of the schedule. i would say it to use a term of art, the ability of the management to control how it is going to deliver the service once the service standards dictate we're going to have this many vehicles at this time and how that service is run, management in this particular case needs what was described as more flexible work rules in order to -- i would submit to you -- in order to effect best practices. >> i assume these are discussions you are having with the union on how to handle this? >> all the time. i would suggest to the board
this is not a static process. it is a way that you have to wait between contract and negotiate. with your help and support last fall, we were able to restore some of the service that was cut. in doing so, what we were able to do was aggressively use a reduction of something called standby time which is simply time you pay people to be available but not operated vehicle. that has driven up our cost over time and we were able to take a number of actions within the contract and stretched our interpretation to do that more effectively. fess it is things we are looking at constantly, but at the same time, to get us to the next level and make a difference both financially in terms of the quality of service, we need to create even more flexibility in
the work rules, such as part- timers. president chiu: i've noticed that you have dozens and dozens of workers working 30% of overtime. assuming you have workers working 80 hour weeks for three or four months of time during the year, have you done an analysis with your transit operators for those 70 individuals or your supervisors at work at those bases to understand why? >> i think the other thing that drives that for anything else is staffing loads. on the of riverside, because of budget issues, they stopped hiring operators. when you don't have enough operators, you put more runs out for overtime and it misses the service. you need to balance that because
our objective, our goal is to put 90% every day on the street for schedule. we fall below that -- part of the reason is we don't have enough operators who have been hired because it takes on our process for civil service and other things along time i do have to balance the number of operators in attrition. when you don't have enough operators, -- the last three months, we have averaged 50 runs a day at overtime. those are people coming in on their day off. fans at some point, you balance the level. on some of the other categories you see in the presentation, some of the electronic technicians on the rail side. on the real side, you had a significant reduction in staff over the last two and a half years. there has been an increase in
miles the cars -- an increase in miles, the cars have gotten older, there's a greater maintenance demand as cars age. this is part good news -- we are supporting a number of rehabilitation programs on both the bus and rail side focusing on components that fail and that are delaying our service and using overtime to do that work in addition to the preventative maintenance inspection. part of the key thing for us is the level of staffing. the other thing i would point out in terms of the city contracts is that when people leave, and we have had a lot of people felt in the last couple of years retire and have been incentivize to retire because we have operations on the maintenance side for a number
of city-wide contracts, for people with the appropriate security, they are free to go to the port or somewhere else and that process delays our hiring and filling positions and causes us to have to get the work done and do that over time. that is a quick summary of some of the issues that drive some of the overtime. president chiu: after our last hearing on overtime, given the threshold of 30% overtime trigger for our part of human- resources needs to sign off on this, i proposed we reduce that to 20% so that we know exactly how many folks are working at a higher level of overtime. do you have any idea of how many of your workers would fall into that category? >> i want to make sure i understand your question. in terms of categories, we would have a couple of groups such as
service inspectors -- there are employees who manage the service on the street. there are people in the control center where we've run a 24/7 operation that would be in that category. there are some station agents also who have built up a lot of overtime because we want to cover all the stations and have been using overtime to cover overall reductions in the staff. those are three examples and we can provide a very precise lists based on -- because we certainly know where overtime is going and who is using it and for a reason. president chiu: i think there is often a perception with my constituents that there are muni drivers and other employees who are not necessarily showing
up to work when they need to and that's exacerbating overtime issues. can you talk about your statistics in that area? what is your absentee rate and are your drivers coming to work on time? >> in and force when areas, as far as absentee rate, we are below 5% on a daily basis. our employees show up to work, but a lot of our overtime deals with special events and, there's an incident that pco is needed, like a car incident to direct traffic or we get a call from the police department or fire department to use direct traffic around emergency incidents, that takes up a lot of time. the majority of that is not on overtime. >> i just want to add to what mr. mason said in terms of one
of the things we're trying to do that has had a dramatic impact of overtime. a week ago thursday, we had eight -- we had 22% of our workforce unavailable for service. 22% of the total. the majority of that in july of last year -- excuse me, august of last year, we put a sick leave policy into place. the result was the number of the usage of sick leave went around dramatically in the first six weeks. supervisor campos: tell me -- president chiu: tell me what was happening before that. >> we had put some people on the abuse list. this required bringing in a doctor's note a little sooner and also required -- it identified discipline to be applied immediately for each occasion.
the sick leave policy went into effect and within two or three weeks, says cleveland down, but at the same time, the applications for family medical leave went up exponentially. what we have seen is a shift over, and the one instance, to family medical leave as well as sick and so part of what we're doing is working with other departments, both within the mta and city to deal with it and help us manage it and control it as well as we do with instances of workers' compensation. so there is a number -- when we are trying to both manage the workforce that we have and increase the percentage of availability, there are some things we are working on as well to try to -- we're looking at the sick leave policy, we are reaching out to try to fix as
best we can to understand what actions we are allowed to do under family medical leave. the result of this is on a typical day, as somebody is a full-time operator and they don't come to work for whatever reason, we have to try to fill that run in overtime and that's our practice. in terms of managing our work force, that is an important aspect to what we are trying to do to reduce overtime. president chiu: a final comment and question. obviously, every two years during the budgeting process, you try to estimate what your overruff talk -- what your overtime is going to look like. in this year's analysis, you're talking about $4 million of extra overtime we did not expect. frankly, we have another item -- it's more than that, 18. that amount of money could solve
some of the problems in this city. i'm looking at the next item we are dealing with when it comes to wage theft. if we does have a small fraction of that, that could help deal with the issues everyone in this room is for. that could go a very long way. my point is we have to do a far better drop -- a far better job of budgeting hour overtime projections and as you are going through the contract negotiation process right now, let's say you were given additional flexibility in our contract to use part-time drivers, what methods were guarantees are you going to be able to put into place that will actually help you keep overtime costs down? it seems to me at the end of the day, a lot of folks want to pan the additional costs of workers using it, but it's up to management to figure out what the best practices to keep these costs down. i don't see any indications that
has happened in the last couple of years. >> a couple of things -- one was suggested earlier by supervisor campos. we're be measured against a budgeted number. when the number is developed, we have to be clear and the assumptions and the service perspective. what is the service we are expected to deliver? as was pointed out correctly, we know how many giants games there are every year. we know how many 40 niners games. special events needs to be reflected entirely in the budget as does -- 49ers games. that will give us an opportunity to run this same level of service at a more cost-effective level because we will be paying more directly, i simply as i can put it, we will be paying more hours for people to drive and not to sit.
those are some of the -- having first clear understanding of the service plan -- i would also say that when you have a service plan, i would argue that in terms of -- you are always going to have some percentage of overtime in transit. as i said before, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, it's not a four-letter word. we go through that exercise as we develop a budget and want to stay within the overtime budget. anything we can do to schedule overtime -- the other thing is, to the extent we run a good quality service, meaning if we reduce delays, that means you don't have to have people out responding in take people out of service.
schedule overtime is a way to do it. right now, we've got good controls on both of them, but the cause and effects and the one we really need to drive down to make up for the numbers that you cited would be the unscheduled overtime to the extent we reduce delays to the extent we manage and get people to come to work. that will make the most of the difference in our numbers. president chiu: private-sector managers are incentivize to keep down overtime costs. i know many of my colleagues are frustrated by this -- you come back with those with high overtime numbers and there's not a lot we can do to ensure you can help us keep down these costs. it seems like a groundhog day year after year, every sixth month, the overtime costs keep going up. what assurances do we have in
six months or one year we will have a different report that comes back? you are very well compensated for the work that you do, and i'm just trying to understand as we go through this process of trying to fix the mta and muni, how we know you're just not going to provide a plan of why we are back in this situation again? >> a number of ways. i think we work together on the development of the budget so we are assured we know what the scheduled overtime this. we know what our targets are. we agree when we build the budget of water staffing levels are at one of the reasons on the maintenance side that overtime
has been high in the last 12 to 14 months is the staffing level. part of the plan was presented was looking at and rebuilding some of the resources back to the front line troops. we have a number of controls and the place to manage overtime on a day-to-day basis. we have a daily report that tracks every run that overtime and we fall on delays. we are happy to share whatever information. it is a front burner issue, if you will, at the mta. it is something we talk about virtually every day -- not virtually, we talk about every day. in terms of our ability to give you assurances, i can assure you we will do everything we can we are doing -- we're doing everything we can to build the budget and get the contracts of more flexibility to manage the
system. we're doing that forcefully right now and that should yield the results we're hoping to get. president chiu: thank you. supervisor farrell: i would like to eliminate a few things. i'm not so sure the public knows about these things. you mention this notion of standby time where -- >> standby time is what we keep referring to in bill work rules when we build schedule. you have two times a day, the a.m. and the p.m. where you put out more service than the rest. there are some levels of service all day. you need to use one person to cover both russia hours. you have hours of service they are available on the bus side, ov